robertogreco + hiphop   92

Interview: Earl Sweatshirt ["Earl Sweatshirt Fights Off Bad Vibes On Some Rap Songs he finds new ways to be himself."]
"As a poet’s son, Earl is serious about the stewardship of the oral tradition. Rappers are descendants of the African griots, Sweatshirt reasons. He worries about the ramifications of the generational disconnect that’s rending a schism between rap fans in their 30s and 40s and fans in their 20s over modern vagaries like triplet flows and trap drum sounds. In our first talk, which happened on a tense, uncertain Election Day afternoon, Earl was both miffed about a Twitter row where rap fans scoffed at Genius head of A&R Rob Markman’s suggestion that the Texas vet Scarface is a top-five hip-hop talent and excited to link the fun-house grunts and ad-libs of Playboi Carti’s Die Lit back to the climate of amateurish discovery at the dawn of hip-hop. Division is a two-way street; Earl wishes younger hip-hop fans had a greater interest in the classics, and he thinks older ones have a responsibility to behave more responsibly. (Asked about the year in Kanye West and Eminem media gaffes, Earl offered a withering line: “You can tell who really just started using the internet.”) When I caught up with him again a few weeks later, he opened up about the tough year in his family, the change in his creative process, and his dueling appreciations for Dilla and OVO production. You’d be hard-pressed to find another rap diehard with the same depth of knowledge and even-handed sense of intergenerational connectedness in 2018. “I only get better with time,” he promises in “Azucar.”"



"It takes the discourse up a notch. It’s not for the sake of exclusivity. It’s not to alienate anyone, but it does demand a kind of basic musical knowledge, whether it’s intuitive or learned over time. Yeah, it’s more human. Sometimes it takes people more time to get into that human bag. I always just revert back to when I was younger because that’s when you haven’t learned so much, and all this bullshit hasn’t become, like, calloused on your brain. I go off what would make me soar in my room by myself as a child. And it’s often more complex than what you’ll do sitting there taking yourself seriously as some smart adult. Just, like, some fucking technical wizard or scientist, you know what I mean?"



"Talk to me about feeling disconnected from your older raps. Is it difficult to perform stuff that you made when you were in an angrier place?
Yeah. Some of the stuff. I mean, I’m 24, bro. The shit that I’m performing spans from when I was 18 to now. So, there’s a difference in perspective and the information I had and the fuckin’ attitude, the way I wrote even. You say you noticed the difference, how I wrote more technically? I’ve had to relearn some of these tongue twisters that I left for myself. So I’m really excited to be performing new shit, because it provides a more honest and whole picture of the person that is standing in front of people, because I can actually be myself in real time. I don’t have hits to fall back on. I got to go into, like, a personal bag. So, I only rely on meaning what I say.

How do you feel like you’re different now? Are you in a better space? Earlier in the year, we got word that you canceled some tour dates, and you were saying there was depression. Is that something you’ve worked through?
I’m working on it, man. It’s a day-to-day thing. For a long time this year, I was still kind of in shock and still can be shocked by the fact that my dad died. That shit really threw me the fuck off.

It’s something you don’t plan for, and it’s something that can take months to understand. I lost mine at the top of the decade, and it’s not normal. It’s not a thought process that you get used to. And especially at your age.
Yeah, it really fucked me up. We make movies in our heads, you know? Where this happens. And then this happens as a result of that. It’s kind of like … having faith, I guess. It’s like, I know this is going to happen. So, then when that shit happened with my pops … I talked to my brother, who I saw was doing better. He’s about eight years older than me. He was at a different place with my pops, and I remember asking him like, “Yo, how do you — you know — we know the same nigga, like … how are you not as mad as me?” This nigga was like, “Because I had to come back as an adult and spend time with him as an adult.” I did work with the intention of being able to come back literally this year, at the top of this year. I’d finally pledged, like, “I’m going home. I can do it. I can see this.” And he died. Going through that existential thing, plus other existential elements of my pops, him being a public figure, the public figure that he is. And then being Earl Sweatshirt on top of it?"
earlsweatshirt  2018  oddfuture  music  ofwgkta  hiphop  rap  keorapetsekgositsile  thebenerudakgositsile  denmarkvessey  neoteny  polish  learning  unlearning  children 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The GQ&A: Earl Sweatshirt | GQ
"Hip-hop heads world 'round: Earl Sweatshirt's major label debut, Doris, drops today. (But you already knew that.) In this revealing sit-down, BYARD DUNCAN gets the nineteen-year-old to open up about everything from his struggles with addiction to his time in Samoa to his girlfriend. Yup, girlfriend."
earlsweatshirt  2013  oddfuture  music  ofwgkta  rap  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Where’s Earl Sweatshirt? | The New Yorker
"Word from the missing prodigy of a hip-hop group on the rise."

[bookmarking this as a standalone, but it was already here:
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:5f4973c0f027 ]

[follow-up:
"How's Earl"
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/hows-earl ]

[See also:

"Complex Exclusive: We Found Earl Sweatshirt"
https://www.complex.com/music/2011/04/complex-exclusive-we-found-earl-sweatshirt

"Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt – found in Samoa?"
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/apr/15/earl-sweatshirt-odd-future-samoa

"Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt Speaks"
http://www.vulture.com/2011/05/odd_futures_earl_sweatshirt_sp.html

"What’s Life Like for Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt in that Secret Samoan Academy?"
http://www.vulture.com/2011/05/whats_life_like_for_odd_future.html

"Earl Sweatshirt's Coral Reef Academy Friend Says "New Yorker" Story Is False"
https://www.complex.com/music/2011/06/earl-sweatshirt-coral-reef-academy-friend-says-new-yorker-story-is-false

"The story of Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt gets another knot"
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/06/the-story-of-odd-future-earl-sweatshirt-gets-another-knot.html

"Earl Sweatshirt in Samoa"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHiqNeVTj7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqLdt-s944s ]
oddfuture  ofwgkta  music  parenting  2011  newyorker  kelefasanneh  hiphop  keorapetsekgositsile  fame  youth  adolescence  identity  earlsweatshirt  thebenerudakgositsile  rap 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Stay Inside with Earl Sweatshirt - March Madness - Season 2 Episode 5 - YouTube
"Live and direct from LA, Earl and Standing on the Corner’s Gio serve up fresh raps, unearthed classics and more."
earlsweatshirt  music  tolisten  playlists  2018  rap  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples - Inside the Beat - Ep. 1 - YouTube
"In the first episode of Inside the Beat we explore the sonic imaginations of Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples. Earl explores the trippy possibilities of producing sound, while Vince takes us on a lyrical journey of inspiration through his hometown, Long Beach, CA.

Noisey teamed up with producers from all over the world in a seven part original documentary series to investigate the genesis of their music through their own personal stories. This is Inside the Beat."
earlsweatshirt  oddfuture  2014  music  ofwgkta  vincestaples  rap  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
july 2018 by robertogreco
M.C. Earl Sweatshirt: A Leaf in the Wind - YouTube
"Earl Sweatshirt is a nineteen-year-old m.c. and one of the more popular members of the Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Odd Future. Here, Earl riffs on inspiration, solidifying one’s identity, and what he’s (not) looking forward to."
earlsweatshirt  music  2013  video  rap  hiphop  oddfuture  ofwgkta  thebenerudakgositsile 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Ideas in cars, honking
[To these examples, I’d add what Earl Sweatshirt says about moments and his process in this interview:
https://www.npr.org/sections/microphonecheck/2015/03/24/394987116/earl-sweatshirt-im-grown
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:30b20a46fed3 ]

"There was one great spot in the Dave Chappelle episode, though, that I felt was worth transcribing and sharing. Seinfeld asks Chappelle whether he feels like, knowing he can do a great TV show, he shouldn’t try to do another one.
CHAPPELLE: Sometimes the offering drives. If I [have] an idea, it should drive. It’s like the idea says, “Get in the car.” And I’m like, “Where am I going?” And the idea says, “Don’t worry, I’m driving.” And then you just get there.

SEINFELD: The idea’s driving.

CHAPPELLE: Sometime’s I’m shotgun. Sometimes I’m in the f—ing trunk. The idea takes you where it wants to go.

SEINFELD: That’s great.

CHAPPELLE: And then other times, there’s me, and it’s my ego, like, “I should do something!”

SEINFELD: “I should be driving!”

CHAPPELLE: Yeah.

SEINFELD: That’s not good.

CHAPPELLE: No, ‘cause there’s no idea in the car. It’s just me. That formula doesn’t work.

SEINFELD: If the idea is in the car honking, going, “Let’s go…” It pulls up in front of your house.

CHAPPELLE: That’s exactly right.

SEINFELD: “You’re in your pajamas. Get dressed!”

CHAPPELLE: “I’m not ready!” “You can go like this.” “Where are we going? What are we doing?” “Don’t worry about it. You’ll see.”

Although, there’s another great story about cars and ideas, told by Elizabeth Gilbert:
Tom [Waits], for most of his life, he was pretty much the embodiment of the tormented contemporary modern artist, trying to control and manage and dominate these sort of uncontrollable creative impulses that were totally internalized.

But then he got older, he got calmer, and one day he was driving down the freeway in Los Angeles, and this is when it all changed for him. And he’s speeding along, and all of a sudden he hears this little fragment of melody, that comes into his head as inspiration often comes, elusive and tantalizing, and he wants it, it’s gorgeous, and he longs for it, but he has no way to get it. He doesn’t have a piece of paper, or a pencil, or a tape recorder.

So he starts to feel all of that old anxiety start to rise in him like, “I’m going to lose this thing, and I’ll be be haunted by this song forever. I’m not good enough, and I can’t do it.” And instead of panicking, he just stopped. He just stopped that whole mental process and he did something completely novel. He just looked up at the sky, and he said, “Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving?”

“Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen.”

And his whole work process changed after that. Not the work, the work was still oftentimes as dark as ever. But the process, and the heavy anxiety around it was released when he took the genie, the genius out of him where it was causing nothing but trouble, and released it back where it came from, and realized that this didn’t have to be this internalized, tormented thing.

Gilbert interviewed Waits in 2002 and he elaborated on his attitude:
“Kids are always working on songs and throwing them away, like little origami things or paper airplanes. They don’t care if they lose it; they’ll just make another one.” This openness is what every artist needs. Be ready to receive the inspiration when it comes; be ready to let it go when it vanishes. He believes that if a song “really wants to be written down, it’ll stick in my head. If it wasn’t interesting enough for me to remember it, well, it can just move along and go get in someone else’s song.” “Some songs,” he has learned, “don’t want to be recorded.” You can’t wrestle with them or you’ll only scare them off more. Trying to capture them sometimes “is trying to trap birds.” Fortunately, he says, other songs come easy, like “digging potatoes out of the ground.” Others are sticky and weird, like “gum found under an old table.” Clumsy and uncooperative songs may only be useful “to cut up as bait and use ’em to catch other songs.” Of course, the best songs of all are those that enter you “like dreams taken through a straw.’ In those moments, all you can be, Waits says, is grateful.

Brian Eno puts it in terms of surrender and control:
On one side of Eno’s scale diagram, he writes “control”; on the other “surrender”. “We’ve tended to dignify the controlling end of the spectrum,” he says. “We have Nobel prizes for that end.” His idea is that control is what we generally believe the greats – Shakespeare, Picasso, Einstein, Wagner – were about. Such people, the argument goes, controlled their chosen fields, working in isolation, never needing any creative input from others. As for surrender, that idea has become debased: it’s come to mean what the rest of us do when confronted by a work of genius. “We’ve tended to think of the surrender end as a luxury, a nice thing you add to your life when you’ve done the serious work of getting a job, getting your pension sorted out. I’m saying that’s all wrong.”

He pauses, then asks: “I don’t know if you’ve ever read much about the history of shipbuilding?” Not a word. “Old wooden ships had to be constantly caulked up because they leaked. When technology improved, and they could make stiffer ships because of a different way of holding boards together, they broke up. So they went back to making ships that didn’t fit together properly, ships that had flexion. The best vessels surrendered: they allowed themselves to be moved by the circumstances.

“Control and surrender have to be kept in balance. That’s what surfers do – take control of the situation, then be carried, then take control. In the last few thousand years, we’ve become incredibly adept technically. We’ve treasured the controlling part of ourselves and neglected the surrendering part.” Eno considers all his recent art to be a rebuttal to this attitude. “I want to rethink surrender as an active verb,” he says. “It’s not just you being escapist; it’s an active choice. I’m not saying we’ve got to stop being such controlling beings. I’m not saying we’ve got to be back-to-the-earth hippies. I’m saying something more complex.”
austinkleon  davechappelle  jerryseinfeld  elizabethgilbert  tomwaits  brianeno  control  flow  ideas  howwethink  creativity  neoteny  children  surrender  tension  howwework  howwelearn  productivity  earlsweatshirt  2018  rap  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
july 2018 by robertogreco
W. Kamau Bell Doesn’t Want to Fit In on Vimeo
[via: http://gitamba.com/post/171045406081/comedian-w-kamau-bell-struggled-with-his-identity

"Comedian W. Kamau Bell struggled with his identity growing up. As a self-described “nerd,” he favored martial arts over basketball and rock over hip-hop. This struggle carried over into adulthood and his early efforts at standup comedy. At one point, he even considered giving up comedy entirely. It was at this crossroads that Bell stumbled upon a Rolling Stone article, which became the catalyst for him finding his own voice. Since then, Bell has gone on to headline shows across the country, host a CNN series, and document it all in his book “The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell.”"]
wkamaubell  2018  comedy  identity  blackness  outsiders  comics  adulthood  comedians  hiphop  martialarts 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? Akala at TEDxAldeburgh - YouTube
"Akala demonstrates and explores the connections between Shakespeare and Hip-Hop, and the wider cultural debate around language and it's power."
akala  hiphop  poetry  shakespeare  music  2011 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Bodied | NGV
"These are not silly questions as much as it is silly to ask any question of whiteness. Wherever you and I are in space and time, see my hand wrist-deep inside my body, rooting around for the part of me that would stand in front of an Indiana courthouse and throb for Mike and not for myself, that would call that woman a liar. I would have to tear at that part roughly again and again, although I would like to excise it cleanly. My fantasy is its muffled thud into the tin of a medical bowl: a bloody fibroid, veiny womb-muscle, attached to nothing, growing entirely out of place."
2018  dericashileds  missyelliott  anitahill  desireewashington  billclinton  ronaldreagan  bodies  race  gender  clarencethomas  1997  1991  miketyson  1995  1992  music  hiphop  1993  2001  welfare  lindataylor  1996  saidyahartman  liberalism  us  exclusion  marginalization  citicalracetheory  abuse  hortensespillers  economics  politics  policy  racism  sexism  feminism  body 
january 2018 by robertogreco
wikipedia brown, unstable genius on Twitter: "someone please write an essay about Cookie Monster and minstrelsy please https://t.co/Ms5gbNahVr"
"someone please write an essay about Cookie Monster and minstrelsy please

Cookie Monster is an expression of the unruly black body viewed through the 19th century white gaze, a reflection of a Cartwright-esque vision of unfettered, almost beastlike corporeal desire

😂😂😂😂😂

“gimme dat cookie,” says Cookie Monster, a reflection at once of his presentist thinking and his black vernacular linguistic practice. he is unable to see past the cookie. He is at once “monstrous” and a site of American fetishization.

my flight is delayed. I got time

Feel free to quote me in your next media studies term paper kids

During the height of 90s era globalism-and-multiculturalism neoliberal fantasia, Cookie Monster was briefly reimagined as a vegetable connoisseur, a new configuration through a lens that at once called upon a commodified hip-hop aesthetic and a respectability politic.

The fact that C is for Cookie is, simply put, *good enough* for Cookie Monster, whose literacy practices and ideological concerns are limited to this unidimensional question. It’s a hyper-reduced identity politic, one unconcerned with the nuances of modernity.

I crack myself up"
cookiemonster  sesamestreet  2018  eveewing  monsters  minstrels  aav  africanamericanvernacular  language  linguistics  fetishes  fetishization  cookies  respectabilitypolitics  hiphop  1990s  identitypolitics 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Warriors' Kevin Durant on finding his black identity in America
"LM: When you were coming here, did you know much about the Bay Area’s history of political activism?

KD: I just knew about the Black Panthers, and I knew about so many great, great, intelligent minds always influenced by the Bay. Influenced by Oakland, influenced by Vallejo, San Francisco. Every part of the Bay, from hip-hop culture, music culture, rock and roll, to athletes, to politicians, everything is influenced by the Bay. It has its own style. I knew that, but as far as just coming out here and really feeling free, feeling like you could be yourself, feeling like you can love whatever you want to love and not be judged for it, and not be ridiculed for it, I feel like everybody should want to feel that way, everybody should want to be in that atmosphere. That’s what America is all about. Being out here, it makes me feel that way."
kevindurant  california  bayarea  sanfrancisco  oakland  vallejo  2017  race  blackpantherparty  blackpanthers  freedom  activism  colinkaepernick  culture  hiphop  music  rickjames  tupakshakur 
november 2017 by robertogreco
The 18-year-old rapper bold enough to just be MIKE - YouTube
"MIKE and the sLUms crew are changing the model for internet-bred rappers.

Listen to MIKE’s music here: https://mikelikesrap.bandcamp.com/ "

[See also:
"The 18-Year-Old Rapper Bold Enough to Just Be MIKE: MIKE and the sLUms crew are changing the model for internet-bred rappers."
https://theoutline.com/post/2420/the-18-year-old-rapper-bold-enough-to-just-be-mike

"The rapper MIKE [https://twitter.com/t6mikee ] is carving a different kind of path for himself as an internet rapper [https://mikelikesrap.bandcamp.com/music ]. While many Soundcloud [https://soundcloud.com/t6mikee ]and Youtube musicians are focused on chasing fast fame, MIKE, whose given name is Michael Jordan Bonema, says he’s more interested in creating a lasting community where he, his collective of friends (which goes by sLUms [https://soundcloud.com/wastedareas ]), and his fans can communicate and feel comfortable. After his well-received full length album from earlier this year, May God Bless Your Hustle [https://mikelikesrap.bandcamp.com/album/may-god-bless-your-hustle ], MIKE is poised to blow up and he plans to bring everyone along for the ride." ]

[More:

MIKE's YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiXfXIX2s6MKt4N2KkBdg2Q

sLUms YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVPti_6jZhRsDIi7Fhz-6wA/videos

"MIKE - 40 STOPS (PROD SIXPRESS)" (from the Outline video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEE6VHXQy-Q

"MIKE Should Be Your New Favourite Teen Rapper"
https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/j5gwjg/mike-wait-for-me-video-premiere-by-water

MIKE on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/mikelikesrap/

MIKE's music:
https://lnk.to/MIKE-ByTheWaterEP
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wlzPS1hSNrkriIIwLFTmU
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/by-the-water-ep/id1275512315?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
https://soundcloud.com/t6mikee ]
music  oddfuture  mike  edg  soundcloud  bandcamp  thirdculturekids  earlsweatshirt  identity  communication  nyc  michaeljordanbonema  internet  web  rap  ofwgkta  2017  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Akala on Twitter: "So this has trended again this week i'd like to add some further thoughts from practical work in the streets/prisons https://t.co/jyySfaGZdK"
"So this has trended again this week i'd like to add some further thoughts from practical work in the streets/prisons ["Akala on N word" https://twitter.com/Dan_Soff/status/922544678909640704 ]

[See also (another): Akala on the N word https://twitter.com/Dan_Soff/status/922736966210383872 ]

I am not judging anyone because as you all know I used to use nigga every 4th work practically but just wana highlight some things...

Lots of young black men in particular will claim that 'nigga' is now a term of endearment but they/we do not truly believe this.. example..

I do lots of writing workshops in prisons here (invariably filled with young black men) and I do a social experiment with them..

When they finish writing their raps about how many niggas they will shoot I don't judge them I just ask the following question/scenario

I tell them 'my mums white scottish, Glasgow/Belfast both more violent than London what would u think if I rapped about killing honkies?'

Without exception every young black man I've posed this question to has either laughed at the absurdity of said 'nah fam that's racist'

The inference is clear that we - like racists - value white life more than black life, no matter how we dress it up/deny it.

What's more if the biggest black rappers on earth started rapping about killing 'racist cracker cops' instead of other niggas we know result

Remember when Ice T made 'cop killer' and the US govt stepped in?

So while I obviously don't subscribe to the idea that music causes violence it's also a cop out to say culture is not massively important

And I am also a hypocrite because I still love my Mobb Deep, DMX, Lox etc so again no judgement but we have to be honest it's problematic

if you are black and having a convo with a brother trying to tell you nigga is positive ask him if his gran is a nigga he'll get offended

It's revealing that forms of black music made in Africa & the Caribbean do use the word at all unless consciously adopting a US influence

The Richard prior talk highlighted in this thread is brilliant on this. However we try2 dress it up nigga is intrinsically de-humanising

Obviously stopping from addressing eachother as such will not overthrow shit material conditions either but these are my thoughts.

I personally stopped using the word also because it made me uncomfortable having white kids shout it back to me at shows

The truth is no truly self respecting people promote and sell their own death, let alone to those that benefit from it most.

Those of us that are not black Americans and thus did not live through Jim Crow, spectacle lynchings etc can't really explain why we use it

Other than cos we like US rap music. The most oppressive decade in British racial history (80's) produced Lovers Rock and Rare Groove

The trench town of the 70's produced us Roots Reggae, Apartheid SA Hugh Masakela & Miriam, Nigeria gave us Fela

So it's not hardship but rather an admission of defeat and desperation imo. End of thread. Safe

Again not judging any1 I used to use it all the time and was a very naughty/violent/angry man at one time in my life, I get it.

Actually I would like to add to this thread with a couple points about blackness and violence, which I'm writing about a lot at the mo...

In both Britain & American popular culture and law enforcement the idea of 'black on black' violence has become a 'credible' idea...

The phrase suggests that whole other humans are violent for real material/historical/political reasons black ppl r violent cos black..

This idea is rooted in 19th century pseudo science but it has. it stopped some, even some self hating folks from asking basic questions like

When 'black on black' violence became a buzz word in U.K. media Northern Ireland was still a war zone and Glasgow more violent than London

Even from tridents own reports we see that vast majority of the 'black on black' shootings were by British Caribbeans or Jamaican nationals

So how did it make sense that British Ghanaians and Zimbabweans get included racial osmosis for something they not part of?

But if we admit that the problem was mostly British Caribbeans - including mixed race - more so than Africans obvious questions arise

Like how come the black group that's been in Britain the longest is doing by far the worst of all the black groups?

How come Jamaica is about 30x more violent than Ghana even though half of JA is Ghanaian in origin?

How come that outside of South Africa there is never usually a single African city in world top 50 for murder rate? (US usually has 3/4)

Additionally in a U.K. context violent working class youth gangs have been a constant for well over a century but if u know no history...

See: Hooligans Or Rebels by Humphries

The worst hoods in the UK have historically been in Glasgow, some having life expectancy as low as mid 50's until recently...

Accra by contrast has many many many challenges but kids stabbing eachother over iPhones and postcodes is not one of them.

But by focusing on visible black boys in London rather than what is a UK wide problem the state can pretend teenage violence was imported

explaining why so many American hoods are so much more violent than than African ones is not something eugenics explanations can help with

Black Americans literally 'less Black' (one drop rule) than continental Africans so by eugenics logic Accra should be worse than Chicago

And if the Nigerian civil war was 'black on black' why was the Japanese rape on Nanking not 'yellow on yellow'?

Lastly roughly as many Russians alone died fighting Nazis ('white on white' crime) as all Africans in all wars on the continent since WW2

It's almost as if the violence of humans racialised as black needs a proper human explanation. Mad I know.

In truth 'gansta' rap and 'niggerisation' helps obscure all this and makes black death an attractive commodity.

If working class youth violence has been a constant in British history for 150 years it's really no surprise what's happening today...

And given that roughy 80% of black Brits live in the poorest wards of the county and middle class Zimbabweans not going going jail/killing🤔

By Zimbabweans I mean Zim immigrants to U.K. who we all know are mostly middle class professionals.

None of this is 'excusing' the youngers just as understanding 'The Troubles' is not excusing any killers there, it's just understanding.

For Americans and others that don't know in London we had a whole police department dedicated to 'black on black' crime until recently

Many of their most high profile cases where mixed heritage men (like Mark Duggan) showing the UK state also likes US1drop rule.

And in Tottenham (where Mark was from) everyone knows organised crime is as much British Turks as BritCaribbean but hey 'black on black'

But anyway. Have a good evening all. 👍🏾"
akala  language  history  race  racism  crime  data  bias  music  nword  rap  hiphop  uk  us  jamaica  caribbean  africa  ghana  glasgow  chicago  cities  violence  gangs  zimbabwe  belfast 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Christopher Emdin SXSWedu 2017 Keynote - YouTube
"Merging theory and practice, connecting contemporary issues to historical ones, and providing a deep analysis on the current state of education, Dr. Emdin ushers in a new way of looking at improving schools and schooling. Drawing from themes in his New York Times Bestselling book, and the latest album from rap group A Tribe Called Quest, Emdin offers insight into the structures of contemporary schools, and highlights major issues like the absence of diversity among teachers, the ways educators of color are silenced in schools, the absence of student voice in designing teaching and learning, and a way forward in addressing these issues."
christopheremdin  education  2017  sxswedu2017  schools  diversity  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  studentvoice  listening  socialjustice  service  atribecalledquest  dinka  culture  adjustment  maladjustment  ptsd  psychology  voice  transcontextualism  johndewey  doctorseuss  traditions  children  race  racism  trauma  trayvonmartin  violence  schooling  schooltoprisonpipeline  technology  edtech  pedagogy  disenfranchisement  technosolutionism  commoncore  soul  liberation  conversation  paulofreire  credentialism  stem  coding  economics  expectations  engagement  neweconomy  equity  justice  humility  quantification  oppression  whitesupremacy  cosmopolitanism  hiphoped  youthculture  hiphop  youth  teens  appropriation  monetization  servicelearning  purpose  context  decontextualization  tfa  courage  inequality  inequity  normalization  community  curriculum  canon  complexity  chaos  nuance  teachforamerica  transcontextualization 
march 2017 by robertogreco
#BreakBeatPoets - The Book
"Hip-Hop is the largest youth culture in the history of the planet rock. 

It has produced generations of artists who have revolutionized their genre(s) by applying the aesthetic innovations of the culture. The BreakBeat Poets features 78 poets, born somewhere between 1961-1999, All-City and Coast-to-Coast, who are creating the next and now movement(s) in American letters. This is the first poetry anthology by and for the Hip-Hop generation. It is for people who love Hip-Hop, for fans of the culture, for people who've never read a poem, for people who thought poems were only something done by dead white dudes who got lost in a forest, and for poetry heads. This anthology is meant to expand the idea of who a poet is and what a poem is for.

The BreakBeat Poets are the scribes recording and remixing a fuller spectrum of experience of what it means to be alive in this moment. The BreakBeat Poets are a break with the past and an honoring of the tradition(s), an undeniable body expanding the canon for the fresher."

[See also:
https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/621-the-breakbeat-poets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2CJL8Fgd7U
http://review.gawker.com/the-breakbeat-poets-on-how-hip-hop-revolutionized-ameri-1720356934
https://www.amazon.com/BreakBeat-Poets-American-Poetry-Hip-Hop/dp/1608463958/ ]
books  poetry  hiphop  breakbeatpoets  kevincoval  qurayshalilansana  natemarshall  2016 
january 2017 by robertogreco
De La Soul is Not Dead: The Documentary - YouTube
"De La Soul Is Not Dead takes it all the way back to Amityville, Long Island — a suburban hip hop mecca where three highly creative individuals and high school classmates linked up with DJ Prince Paul and shopped a demo tape to Tommy Boy Records. The label that brought the world "Planet Rock" would soon have another smash hit on their hands with "Me Myself and I" and De La Soul, the so-called "Hippies of Hip Hop." But little did they know what the future would hold.

Many of De La Soul's early classics are difficult to find on digital music platforms due to complex sample clearance issues. As a result, their impact on the development of hip hop is felt from the group's Native Tongues affiliates through Kanye West, Pharrell, and Kendrick Lamar.

It's been twenty-five years since "De La Soul Is Dead," the group's iconoclastic sophomore album, and twenty years since "Stakes Is High," their first project without Prince Paul at the helm. These two pivotal releases positioned the group on the career trajectory that leads them to this extraordinary moment. Last week De La Soul's latest release, "And The Anonymous Nobody," topped Billboard's Rap Albums Chart. Funded by a half-million-dollar Kickstarter bonanza, the group's first new album in over a decade features diverse guest spots from Snoop Dogg to David Byrne. What better time to look back at the legendary trio's rise through the rap game?

Don't sleep on these Long Island cats. They're definitely onto something."
delasoul  documentary  music  2016  history  hiphop  rap 
september 2016 by robertogreco
How Bad Urban Planning Led To The Birth Of A Billion-Dollar Genre | The FADER
"Architect Mike Ford traces the relationship between structural racism, public housing projects, and hip-hop."



'Hip-hop lyrics are [filled] with first-hand accounts of living conditions in the projects. The hip-hop MC used lyrics to create a dialogue, to give commentary and counterpoints to the modernist vision [that birthed towers like 1520 Sedgwick Ave]. The MCs served as a voice for disenfranchised communities and often un-consulted end users of public housing. Think about Streetlife’s contribution to Wu Tang Clan’s [1998 song] “S.O.S”: Street chronicle, wise words by the abdominal/ High honorable, rap quotable phenomenal/ Seniority kid, I speak for the minority/ Ghetto poverty fuck the housing authority. Or Snoop Dogg’s song “Life in the Projects,” [from the soundtrack of the animated TV show The PJs]: Ain't no trees, the grass ain't green/And when I say it's all bad, you know what I mean. They provided realistic accounts of what life in the projects was like, of the failed urban planning and deplorable conditions of high-rise, low-income housing developments in contrast to the utopia imagined by Le Corbusier.

Corbusier’s plan [did receive] its fair share of criticisms. A critique of the plan was published in the French architectural magazine L’Architecte, and spoke to the uncertainty of the social impact of high density living and Corbusier’s machine-like architecture: “Is the next generation really destined to pass its existence in these immense geometrical barracks, living in standardized mass production houses with mass production furniture…Their games, and by that I mean their recreations, are all based on the same model…Poor Creatures! What will they become in the midst of all this dreadful speed, this organization, this terrible uniformity?” I argue that this 1925 criticism is a prediction of hip-hop culture.

It’s crazy because every architecture school around the country celebrates people like Corbusier and Moses as being great. I’m changing up the story and saying that these people and their ideas were flawed, you know? They created these awful conditions that birthed hip-hop. This is something that’s left out of architectural studies. It hides the hands of those that damaged communities and blames the existence of the “hood” on African-American culture.

As long as people from the outside are telling the story, that narrative will continue. We need to continue to get people of color involved in architecture, as urban planners, as professors, as authors. It’s important for minorities to enter architecture because, throughout the United States, our communities have been designed, uprooted, and pretty much destroyed by architects and urban planners who do not look like us and unfortunately have little to desire to communicate with us during the planning of those events.

So what can happen if we get more minorities involved in architecture and architecture fields such as urban planning? You’re gonna have people at the table who are sensitive to the fabrics of [their] communities and understand what it means to not uproot them. Having a voice at that table to be an advocate for those underrepresented communities is essential. Architecture can destroy and inhibit people from becoming their best, but it also has the power to uplift and empower them. If we’re going to achieve the latter, it’s got to be a collaborative effort."
mikeford  architects  architecture  design  urbanplanning  music  history  hiphop  bronx  nyc  robertmoses  lecorbusier  housing  housingprojects  urbandesign  urbnism  racism  race  us  wutangclan  snoppydogg 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Current Affairs: You Should Be Terrified That People Who Like “Hamilton” Run Our Country
"The American elite can’t get enough of a musical that flatters their political sensibilities and avoids discomforting truths."



"Given that Hamilton is essentially Captain Dan with an American Studies minor, one might wonder how it became so inordinately adored by the blathering class. How did a ten-million-dollar 8th Grade U.S. History skit become “the great work of art of the 21st century” (as the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik says those in his circle have been calling it)?"



"Just as Hamilton ducks the question of slavery, much of the actual substance of Alexander Hamilton’s politics is ignored, in favor of a story that stresses his origins as a Horatio Alger immigrant and his rivalry with Aaron Burr. But while Hamilton may have favored opening America’s doors to immigration, he also proposed a degree of economic protectionism that would terrify today’s free market establishment.

Hamilton believed that free trade was never equal, and worried about the ability of European manufacturers (who got a head start on the Industrial Revolution) to sell goods at lower prices than their American counterparts. In Hamilton’s 1791 Report on Manufactures, he spoke of the harms to American industry that came with our reliance on products from overseas. The Report sheds light on many of the concerns Americans in the 21st century have about outsourcing, sweatshops, and the increasing trade deficit, albeit in a different context. Hamilton said that for the U.S., “constant and increasing necessity, on their part, for the commodities of Europe, and only a partial and occasional demand for their own, in return, could not but expose them to a state of impoverishment, compared with the opulence to which their political and natural advantages authorise them to aspire.” For Hamilton, the solution was high tariffs on imports of manufactured goods, and intensive government intervention in the economy. The prohibitive importation costs imposed by tariffs would allow newer American manufacturers to undersell Europe’s established industrial framework, leading to an increase in non-agricultural employment. As he wrote: “all the duties imposed on imported articles… wear a beneficent aspect towards the manufacturers of the country.”

Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly went unmentioned at the White House, where a custom performance of Hamilton was held for the Obamas. The livestreamed presidential Hamilton spectacular at one point featured Obama and Miranda performing historically-themed freestyle rap in the Rose Garden."



"Strangely enough, President Obama failed to mention anything Alexander Hamilton actually did during his long career in American politics, perhaps because the Obama Administration’s unwavering support of free trade and the tariff-easing Trans-Pacific Partnership goes against everything Hamilton believed. Instead, Obama’s Hamilton speech stresses just two takeaways from the musical: that America is a place where the poor (through “sheer force of will” and little else) can rise to prominence, and that Hamilton has diversity in it. (Plus it contains hip-hop, an edgy, up-and-coming genre with only 37 years of mainstream exposure.)

The Obamas were not the only members of the political establishment to come down with a ghastly case of Hamiltonmania. Nearly every figure in D.C. has apparently been to see the show, in many cases being invited for a warm backstage schmooze with Miranda. Biden saw it. Mitt Romney saw it. The Bush daughters saw it. Rahm Emanuel saw it the day after the Chicago teachers’ strike over budget cuts and school closures. Hillary Clinton went to see the musical in the evening after having been interviewed by the FBI in the morning. The Clinton campaign has also been fundraising by hawking Hamilton tickets; for $100,000 you can watch a performance alongside Clinton herself.

Unsurprisingly, the New York Times reports that “conservatives were particularly smitten” with Hamilton. “Fabulous show,” tweeted Rupert Murdoch, calling it “historically accurate.” Obama concluded that “I’m pretty sure this is the only thing that Dick Cheney and I have agreed on—during my entire political career.” (That is, of course, false. Other points of agreement include drone strikes, Guantanamo, the NSA, and mass deportation.)

The conservative-liberal D.C. consensus on Hamilton makes perfect sense. The musical flatters both right and left sensibilities. Conservatives get to see their beloved Founding Fathers exonerated for their horrendous crimes, and liberals get to have nationalism packaged in a feel-good multicultural form. The more troubling questions about the country’s origins are instantly vanished, as an era built on racist forced labor is transformed into a colorful, culturally progressive, and politically unobjectionable extravaganza.

As the director of the Hamilton theater said, “It has liberated a lot of people who might feel ambivalent about the American experiment to feel patriotic.” “Ambivalence,” here, means being bothered by the country’s collective idol-worship of men who participated in the slave trade, one of the greatest crimes in human history. To be “liberated” from this means never having to think about it.

In that respect, Hamilton probably is the “musical of the Obama era,” as The New Yorker called it. Contemporary progressivism has come to mean papering over material inequality with representational diversity. The president will continue to expand the national security state at the same rate as his predecessor, but at least he will be black. Predatory lending will drain the wealth from African American communities, but the board of Goldman Sachs will have several black members. Inequality will be rampant and worsening, but the 1% will at least “look like America.” The actual racial injustices of our time will continue unabated, but the power structure will be diversified so that nobody feels quite so bad about it. Hamilton is simply this tendency’s cultural-historical equivalent; instead of worrying ourselves about the brutal origins of the American state, and the lasting economic effects of those early inequities, we can simply turn the Founding Fathers black and enjoy the show.

Kings George I and II of England could barely speak intelligible English and spent more time dealing with their own failed sons than ruling the Empire —but they gave patronage to Handel. Ludwig II of Bavaria was believed to be insane and went into debt compulsively building castles — but he gave patronage to Wagner. Barack Obama deported more immigrants than any other president and expanded the drone program in order to kill almost 3,500 people — but he gave patronage to a neoliberal nerdcore musical. God bless this great land."
hamilton  alexnichols  browadway  politics  musicals  2016  neoliberalism  patriotism  barackobama  alexanderhamilton  idol-worship  rupertmurdoch  dickcheney  tpp  mittromney  hillaryclinton  diversity  horatioalger  lyramonteiro  freetrade  thomasjefferson  lin-manuelmiranda  hiphop  georgewashington  adamgopnik  captaindan  nerdcore 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Rapping, deconstructed: The best rhymers of all time - YouTube
"Here's how some of the greatest rappers make rhymes

Special thanks to the research of Martin Connor who was interviewed in this piece. More of his rap analysis can be found here: http://www.rapanalysis.com/

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: https://play.spotify.com/user/estellecaswell/playlist/5KpHR1UysAms2zssDHeSbZ?play=true "
music  rap  rapping  rhyming  rhymes  2016  hiphop  openmikeeagle  mfdoom  rakim  kurtisblow  ericbandrakim  notoriousbig  biggiesmalls  mosdef  andre3000  eminem  kendricklamar  language  rhythm  classideas  outkast  beats  bars  martinconnor  storytelling  estellecaswell 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Earl Sweatshirt: ‘Canadians Are Weirdos’ - The New York Times
[See also:

"After Exile, Career Reset: Earl Sweatshirt Is Back From the Wilderness" (2012)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/arts/music/earl-sweatshirt-is-back-from-the-wilderness.html

"Loose Cannons, Now Firing Freely: Earl Sweatshirt and ASAP Ferg, Hip-Hop Progressives" (2013)
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/arts/music/earl-sweatshirt-and-asap-ferg-hip-hop-progressives.html

"Review: Earl Sweatshirt’s Latest Album Goes to Dark Places" (2015)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/arts/music/review-earl-sweatshirts-latest-album-goes-to-dark-places.html ]

"Q: The rap collective you’re a member of, Odd Future, became famous very rapidly after you were sent by your mother to a school for troubled youth in Samoa. Did missing out on that success further your resolve to sort through the behavior issues that got you there?
A: Hell, no. Not initially, and not the way that Odd Future was coming out — it was like a temper tantrum. It was perfect. But throwing a temper tantrum in a residential treatment facility is so much less cool than throwing a temper tantrum on TV.

Q: While you were in Samoa, your whereabouts were pieced together by fans and bloggers. Did it make you worry about how much information is available online?
A: One day I hope to not have a Twitter, to be sick enough that I don’t have to use the Internet. But since we came up online, I have to be online. Twitter is a real addiction, like the color of it, the process of it.

Q: When you came home to finish your senior year of high school last year, did you have a bad case of senioritis?
A: Oh, my God, I couldn’t concentrate at all! The combination of being a senior and having a career, being the only person in my high school who didn’t have a question mark about anything, just waiting for school to end? It was tight.

Q: You were just in Toronto. How was that?
A: It was crazy. Canadians are weirdos, though. They are so nice — overbearing nice, like grandmother nice. Toronto is like a city of grandmas.

Q: The rapper Drake is from Toronto. Is he grandma nice?
A: Dude, Drake is grandma nice. He was at Frank Ocean’s show in L.A. and got into an argument with Tyler, the Creator’s mom. I left and came back in the room, and she was apologizing to him for how she came at him, and he was saying: “It’s all love. I love you, Mom. I love moms.” Drake loves moms.

Q: Your mother is a law professor at U.C.L.A. Does she ever pressure you to go to law school or anything?
A: No. My mom’s down for what I’m doing now that she knows I’m not unraveling. When she sent me to Samoa, it wasn’t like, “No rap music!,” you know what I mean? I didn’t get thrown in the cellar for swearing.

Q: Rick Ross was dropped from Reebok because of a lyric about date rape on “U.O.E.N.O.” Odd Future’s music often crosses similar lines.
A: Rick Ross! If he was everything that he rapped about, he’d be the worst coke-dealing mass murderer ever. People got mad because he said something bad on a cool song. That was ridiculous on Reebok’s part. You picked up Rick Ross, he’s cocaine — that’s what his entire career is.

Q: I think Reebok was responding to the social-media outpouring.
A: Everyone’s like sheep on social media, like one person starts making noise, and everyone’s like, ‘Hey, yeah!’ and then you got a whole bunch of people making noise at you.

Q: In 2011, The New Yorker reported that your dad, the South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, had not listened to your music. Has he since?
A: I haven’t shown him any music. Like if I was a plumber, I wouldn’t bring a sink home to my parents. I’m not actively trying to bring my work into the house.

Q: Your parents gave you the middle name Neruda after Pablo Neruda. You can see why people are curious.
A: Yeah, it just happens to be that people like to associate poetry and rap music. I think that idea is kind of corny. I think rap music is rap music. I mean, are there heavy writing aspects of it? Absolutely. In a sense is it poetry? Yeah. I’ve heard that so much, growing up in a house with poetry. But I think people like to use that as a shortcut for who’s good and who’s not. It’s like the word “lyrical” — “lyrical” is the worst word in the entire world.

Q: So it’s not a shocking concept that rap could be poetry.
A: It’s actually so familiar that it’s annoying"
oddfuture  ofwgkta  earlsweatshirt  2013  interviews  keorapetsekgositsile  asapferg  rap  hiphop  thebenerudakgositsile 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Is Cultural Appropriation Always Wrong? - The New York Times
"It’s a truth only selectively acknowledged that all cultures are mongrel. One of the first Indian words to be brought into English was the Hindi ‘‘loot’’ — ‘‘plunder.’’ Some of the Ku Klux Klan's 19th-century costumes were, of all things, inspired in part by the festival wear of West African slaves; the traditional wax-print designs we associate with West Africa are apparently Indonesian — by way of the Netherlands. Gandhi cribbed nonviolence from the Sermon on the Mount.

We sometimes describe this mingling as ‘‘cross-pollination’’ or ‘‘cross-fertilization’’ — benign, bucolic metaphors that obscure the force of these encounters. When we wish to speak more plainly, we talk of ‘‘appropriation’’ — a word now associated with the white Western world’s co-opting of minority cultures. And this year — these past several months alone — there has been plenty of talk. In film, there was the outcry over the casting of the blonde Emma Stone as the part-Chinese Hawaiian heroine of Cameron Crowe’s ‘‘Aloha.’’ In music, Miley Cyrus wore dreadlock extensions while hosting the V.M.A.s and drew accusations of essentially performing in blackface — and not for the first time. In literature, there was the discovery that Michael Derrick Hudson, a white poet, had been published in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology under a Chinese pseudonym. In fashion, there was the odd attempt to rebrand cornrows as a Caucasian style — a ‘‘favorite resort hair look,’’ according to Elle. And floating above it all has been Rachel Dolezal, the presiding spirit of the phenomenon, the white former N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who remains serenely and implacably convinced of her blackness.

Questions about the right to your creation and labor, the right to your identity, emerge out of old wounds in America, and they provoke familiar battle stances. The same arguments are trotted out (It’s just hair! Stop being so sensitive! It’s not always about race!) to be met by the same quotes from Bell Hooks, whose essays from the early ’90s on pop culture, and specifically on Madonna, have been a template for discussions of how white people ‘‘colonize’’ black identity to feel transgressive: ‘‘Ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.’’ It’s a seasonal contro­versy that attends awards shows, music festivals, Halloween: In a country whose beginnings are so bound up in theft, conversations about appropriation are like a ceremonial staging of the nation’s original sins.

It can feel like such a poignantly stalled conversation that we’re occasionally tempted to believe we’ve moved past it. A 2013 NPR story on America’s changing demographics and the evolution of hip-hop made a case that the genre has lost its identification with race, and that young people aren’t burdened by anxieties about authenticity. ‘‘The melding of cultures we’re seeing now may have Generation X and Generation Y shaking in their boots with claims of racial ‘appropriation,’ ’’ the rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco said in an online discussion about fashion’s debt to ‘‘urban culture.’’ ‘‘To Generation Z, I would clearly think it all seems ‘normal.’ ’’ Hip-hop culture is global culture, according to this wisdom: People of Korean descent have dominated the largest international b-boy championships; twerking is a full-blown obsession in Russia. ‘‘We as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,’’ Questlove, the drummer and co-founder of the Roots, said last year in an interview with Time magazine in which he defended Iggy Azalea, the white Australian rapper derided for (among other things) affecting a ‘‘Southern’’ accent. ‘‘If you love something, you gotta set it free.’’

But many of the most dogged critics of cultural appropriation are turning out to be the very people who were supposed to be indifferent to it. Members of supposedly easygoing Generation Z object — in droves — to Lena Dunham’s posting a photograph of herself in a mock hijab. Others argue that the cultural devaluation of black people paves the way for violence against them. ‘‘What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?’’ Amandla Stenberg, the 16-year-old star of ‘‘The Hunger Games,’’ asked, in her video message ‘‘Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,’’ which criticized pop stars like Katy Perry for borrowing from black style ‘‘as a way of being edgy.’’ In June, young Asian-Americans protested when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an accompaniment to a lecture called ‘‘Claude Monet: Flirting With the Exotic,’’ invited visitors to pose next to Monet’s ‘‘La Japonaise’’ while wearing a matching kimono. And South Asian women, objecting to the fad for ‘‘ethnic’’ wear at music festivals like Coachella, continued a social-media campaign to ‘‘reclaim the bindi,’’ sharing photographs of themselves, their mothers and grandmothers wearing bindis, with captions like ‘‘My culture is not a costume.’’’

Is this just the latest flowering of ‘‘outrage culture’’? Not necessarily. ‘‘The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred,’’ Stenberg acknowledges in her video. But it has never been easier to proceed with good faith and Google, to seek out and respect context. Social media, these critics suggest, allow us too much access to other people’s lives and other people’s opinions to plead ignorance when it comes to causing offense. When Allure magazine offers tips on achieving a ‘‘loose Afro’’ accompanied by a photograph of a white woman, we can’t overlook how actual black women have been penalized for the hairstyle — that two years ago it was widely reported that a 12-year-old black girl in Florida was threatened with expulsion because of her ‘‘distracting’’ natural hair, and that schools in Oklahoma and Ohio have tried to ban Afros outright. We can’t forget that South Asian bindis became trendy in the mid-’90s, not long after South Asians in New Jersey were being targeted by a hate group that called itself Dotbusters, referencing the bindi, which some South Asian women stopped wearing out of fear of being attacked.

Seen in this light, ‘‘appropriation’’ seems less provocative than pitiably uninformed and stale. It seems possible that we might, someday, learn to keep our hands to ourselves where other people’s cultures are concerned. But then that might do another kind of harm. In an essay in the magazine Guernica, the Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie called for more, not less, imaginative engagement with her country: ‘‘The moment you say a male American writer can’t write about a female Pakistani, you are saying, Don’t tell those stories. Worse, you’re saying: As an American male you can’t understand a Pakistani woman. She is enigmatic, inscrutable, unknowable. She’s other. Leave her and her nation to its Otherness. Write them out of your history.’’

Can some kinds of appropriation shatter stereotypes? This has been literature’s implicit promise: that entering into another’s consciousness enlarges our own. Reviewing ‘‘Green on Blue,’’ Elliot Ackerman’s new novel that looks at America’s war in Afghanistan from the perspective of a young Afghan, the writer Tom Bissell said ‘‘there would be fewer wars’’ if more novelists allowed themselves to imagine themselves into other cultures. It’s a seductive if utterly unverifiable claim. But what cannot be disputed is how profoundly we exist in one another’s imaginations. And what conversations about appropriation make clear is that our imaginations are unruly kingdoms governed by fears and fantasies. They are never neutral."
appropriation  culturalappropriation  2015  parulsehgal  colonialism  decolonization  hiphop  music  fashion  generationz  amandlastenberg  popculture  questlove  culture  mileycyrus  casting  film  bindis  kamilashamsie  otherness  othering  nuance  stereotypes  elliotackerman  tombissell  cosmicrace  larazacósmica  mykkiblanco  genx  generationx  geny  generationy  millennials  michaelderrickhudson  hair  clothing  bellhooks  madonna  context  genz 
october 2015 by robertogreco
AD Rock of the Beastie Boys Reveals Why He Doesn't Listen to New Music - YouTube
"My theory is that nobody wants to see the old guy at the club… If you're a rapper and you're 20 years old, why would you care about me? … Rap music is the only music where kids just don't care. Like rock music, if you're making rock music right now, you have to Led Zeppelin. You *have* to. Rap music, a 20-year-old does not care about Public Enemy. I know that could be blasphemous, but it's the truth. And that's fine and that's why rap music is so different and special, because it's so current. It's very current and very timely and it's always constantly changing and evolving. You know what I mean? It's like the kids today… the kids today don't give a shit what I think and that's why I love that. That's how it should be."

[via: “'C'mon, apps? What am I, 12?' Mr Adrock ladies and gentlemen. ”
https://twitter.com/adrock/status/577593794251649024 ]

[See also: “Yea..that's me+Chuck. Still at Saturday morning detention. We've been in this fkn classroom for the past 35 years.”
https://twitter.com/adrock/status/577593794251649024 ]
adrock  beastieboys  rap  hiphop  music  2015  generations  history 
july 2015 by robertogreco
A Visit From Kendrick Lamar — Best Day Of School Ever? : NPR Ed : NPR
[See also the supplementary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZTKOBElkyg ]

"Lamar is on top of the rap game at the moment. His latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly, came out earlier this year and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's albums chart. It's a complex, multilayered piece of work that wrestles with themes around blackness and beauty.

That's why Brian Mooney decided to use To Pimp a Butterfly with his freshman English students as they studied Toni Morrison's novel, The Bluest Eye. The book is about a young black girl who yearns to have blue eyes.

"I was listening and I was like, wow, there are just so many themes that are the same," Mooney says. He's also a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, working with a program exploring the use of hip-hop in education.

"The main character that my students spoke about, Pecola Breedlove, she's experiencing internalized oppression," Mooney explains. "And so Kendrick is speaking to that same concept with the song 'Complexion.' He's speaking to that same idea of pushing back against the dominant narrative that there's this mythological norm that is considered good and beautiful and valuable."

The lesson caught on with his students. They wrote essays, poetry and rap lyrics inspired by the book and album. Around Mooney's classroom, posters of Morrison quotes and Lamar's lyrics are paired with images of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Mooney was encouraged, so he wrote a blog post about the lesson. [https://bemoons.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/why-i-dropped-everything-and-started-teaching-kendrick-lamars-new-album/ ]

"It just took off, and it went across the Internet, and Kendrick Lamar got it and read it," Mooney says. "His manager reached out to me and said, 'I want to come visit your school.' So we made it happen."

Lamar, in a brief interview in the school's theater, says Mooney's blog post was fascinating. "I was intrigued how somebody can — other than myself — can articulate and break down the concepts of To Pimp A Butterfly, almost better than I can," he said.

The artist says he didn't just come here to perform, or just to mentor the students.

"Something even — for me — even bigger than mentoring is really listening," he says. "And when I do that, we have a little bit bigger connection than me being Kendrick Lamar and you being a student. It's almost like we're friends, you know? Because a friend listens and we learn off each others' experiences."

Throughout the day, Lamar listens. At a school-wide assembly students present the work they've done with Mooney. Ben Vock, Joan Tubungbanua and Sade Ford read their poetry and essays. Vock reads a poem about his own prejudices.

Lamar says he likes it.

"You know, the hardest thing for not only an artist but for anybody to do is look themselves in the mirror and acknowledge their own flaws and fears and imperfections. And put them out for people to relate to it," he tells the senior. "I can relate to you as well, you dig what I'm sayin'?"

After the readings, a group of students perform a dance number to a mashup of Lamar's songs.

Then it's his turn. Lamar grabs the mic and dives into "Alright," one of the tracks on To Pimp a Butterfly.

"It was very exciting" Sade Ford, a senior, says after the show. "And this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.""
literature  culture  hiphop  life  music  kendricklamar  tonimorrison  thebluesteye  education  howweteach  topimpabutterfly  2015  identity  blackness  beauty  oppression  cipher  rap  lyrics  writing  howwewrite  acknowledgement  race  racism  sexism 
july 2015 by robertogreco
fille de glissant: WOC vs. Black Women
"Why did these writers herald the film as a site of progressive representation of blackness despite Céline Sciamma's illuminating statements, despite the film itself and above all despite the criticisms of the film made by black French girls? Why did they keep praising the film after Céline Sciamma said that it was a traditional coming-of-age story, using alarming words like “universality,” confirming black French girls contextualized suspicion that this was just another white interpretation of the black suburban experience in France? Why was the spectatorship of non-black women of color centered instead of that of black women?  What lead to this usurpation?

The truth is that the film, being uncurious and vague about the black bodies and the suburban space it is looking at, was the fertile ground for the kind of appropriative, corny and self-indulgent pieces that were written about it by non-black women of color. The film used and decontextualized black, suburban French bodies to make a boring and botched statement on the universality of girlhood and these writers used and decontextualized a film that used and decontextualized black French bodies to make their own points about “brown girl exclusivity,” black female friendships or the importance of representation.

This specific lane swerving is not an isolated case but it was the first time that I seriously started asking myself questions about the meaning of solidarity between black women and non-black women of color.  How does solidarity serve black women? How does this solidarity manifest itself concretely in the world?"



"Are we supposed to feel grateful or flattered?
I only feel despair and disgust.

We are reduced to passive spectators whose voices are despoiled, asked to applaud and watch brown writers patting themselves on the back for pretending to care about black women’s humanity. Do they have any idea of what it looks like from where the rest of us stand? Maybe they believe that they are extending a hand. The intended results might be solidarity and inclusivity, and it might be within the small and self-absorbed writing bubbles these writers navigate in, but it produces quite the opposite: exclusion not exclusivity.

There is a dearth of published and paid black writers. There aren't enough spaces given to black film, art, music critics for you to think that you can speak over us and center yourself on issues that specifically concern black people.

Black women should have been paid to write on Girlhood. In France, thanks to institutional and constitutional colorblind ideology, most of the reviews were written by white men. In the U.S., thanks to WOC colorblindness and solidarity, most of the acclaimed and shared reviews written for so-called inclusive spaces were written by non-black women of color.

(Ironically, one of the only good and necessary reviews of the film written for a mainstream American publication was written by Richard Brody, a white man, for the New Yorker.)"



"The black experience is not universal. Black girlhood is not universal. A specific kind of racism and misogyny inform our experience. While it is true that people of color share the experience of marginalization, black women are on the periphery of the margins. The singularity of our experiences makes it almost impossible to appropriate them without diluting them, narrowing them, erasing them. Something that I have been confronting is that being a black girl, in the West, is very lonely. Being a French black girl in the suburbs of a major city is painfully lonely. Loneliness characterizes the human condition but it seems that black women are made to be conscious of this truth sooner than everyone else."



"Social media has exacerbated the idea that blackness is common property, a public good that must be shared and consumed by everyone. A public good to be profited off of — unless you're actually black. Black people shouldn't own anything. Nothing belongs to us — not even what we produce and invent. Not even our experience, our existence. Everything ours is yours (is there even such as thing as “ours”?). Blackness is constantly flied over by vultures, under threat of being decomposed, consumed and annihilated. When we do claim ownership, we are told we are venal, greedy. When we refuse this looting of our identity, experience and culture we are selfish and capricious.

Well, I am refusing. I am claiming my experience as mine. I am asking for black women to claim their experiences as their own. In an antiblack and misogynistic context there isn’t such a thing as being a capricious or territorial black woman. Our experience is the territory on which we should be sovereign. The loneliness that comes with being a black woman and the apathy the rest of the world has for our existence make us the only witnesses to our lives and it should afford us the right to be the only authorities on our experiences."



"I do not care about the pictures of black celebrities plastered all over your blog. I do not care about your Rihanna and Kanye West worshipping. I don’t care about your black friends. More than anything, I do not care about your compulsive James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Claudia Rankine and bell hooks quoting. It doesn’t signify anything. It doesn’t demonstrate that you have challenged your antiblackness. Fetishization is not love, it’s not respect. Turning black people into figurines and objects that you can use, and throw away as soon as you are done with them is not appreciation.

Here is what I want: instead of jumping on any opportunity to voice your “enthusiasm” for everything black, you should study the weird, neurotic, utilitarian relationship you have with blackness. You can take the Kardashians with you. Until then, until you do this introspective and analytical work, until you decolonize your idea and practice of solidarity, I’d very much like for you to stay away from us. "
girlhood  film  culture  blackness  fanta  fantasylla  célinesciamma  2015  fetishization  appropriation  poc  sarabivigou  woc  feminism  azealiabanks  mia  iggyazalea  heems  blackwomen  hiphop  loneliness 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The L.A. Roots of Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp a Butterfly' | Los Angeles | Artbound | KCET
"Kendrick Lamar's new album, "To Pimp a Butterfly," is an L.A. album, just not the L.A. most people think of. On March 16, his much anticipated LP leaked before its official release slated for this week. And last night, he debuted a few tracks to crowds in Hollywood, rapping on the back of a flatbed truck rolling down Sunset Boulevard. It's a fitting setting, well represented in the "Cali sound" that's infused L.A. hip-hop dating back to the 1980s: think thick bass slaps and syrupy synthesizers, the tell-tale signatures of g-funk grooves that Dr. Dre, DJ Quik, Battlecat and many others have helped craft over the years.

"To Pimp A Butterfly" dips into that lane at times but it's not remotely beholden to it. Instead, the album feels like a generational coming-of-age effort for a younger cohort of L.A.'s beat makers and studio players. It's as if the project was born during "The Chronic" era, babysat by the Project Blowed collective, raised on late-era J. Dilla beats and Bilal b-sides, then sent to Digi+Phonics academy with after-school tutoring at Low End Theory.

There's a few marquee hit-makers who contribute -- Pharrell Willliams and Boi-1da for example - but the rest of the album's credits read like a veritable who's who of L.A. sound providers: TDE's (Top Dawg Entertainment) in-house guru Sounwave, Brainfeeder bassist extraordinaire Thundercat, and saxophonist Terrace Martin.

Considering that Lamar could have easily recruited producers and players from anywhere he wanted, the fact that he kept the crew so local feels like a statement in-and-of-itself. His last LP, "good kid/m.A.A.d city," was more explicitly L.A. in its lyrical themes but "To Pimp a Butterfly" sounds more like the hodgepodge of the metropolis itself: dense, sprawling, majestic and cinematic. It's the L.A. that is also shown in Lamar's collaboration with filmmaker Kahlil Joseph, whose dual screen projection Double Conscience is now screening at MOCA Grand Avenue, featuring the rapper's music paired to scenes of South Los Angeles. 

Others have impressively, exhaustively cataloged every single player on "To Pimp a Butterfly" so rather than duplicate those efforts, our attempt here is to trace the album's distinct L.A.-centric musical roots and branches."



"The album's free-wheeling jazz excursions have annoyed a scant, few listeners, perhaps most of all on the second track, "For Free? (Interlude)." Personally, I find "For Free?'s" sax-y noodling and poetry slam verve to be its charm, not just reminding me of something Melvin Van Peebles might have cooked up in the early 1970s but also of L.A.'s Freestyle Fellowship, who've been known to scit-scat over racing jazz beats.

Throughout his career, Lamar's densely intricate rhyme styles have seemed partially influenced by the Freestyle Fellowship and Project Blowed collective and the album has a direct link to them via trumpeter Josef Leimberg. He's featured on half a dozen of the album's songs and Leimberg is also one-half of the LoveDragon production team that crafted both "How Much a Dollar Cost" and "You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said)." His history with the Southland hip-hop scene goes at least as far back as 1994, when he joined Project Blowed alum Volume 10 on his slept-on "Hip-Hopera." Like other players on the LP, Leimberg also has links with Snoop Dogg and Sa-Ra Creative Partners, creating even more overlapping strands to other parts of the L.A. hip-hop scene.

However, when it comes to interconnections, no one on the album, besides Lamar, is better connected than saxophonist Terrace Martin. Not only does he appear on more songs than any other producer/player, but through Martin, you can trace collaborations to at least eight other people on the album. That obviously includes Leimberg, his co-partner in LoveDragon, but Martin's also worked with Glasper, backup singer Anna Wise, percussionist Larrance Dopson, and his brother, Snarky Puppy drummer Robert Sput Searight, also plays on a pair of songs."



"The scary part of all this is that I've named at least 20 artists who worked on "To Pimp A Butterfly" and that's not even half the 71 people who get a credit on the LP. No doubt, of the other 50 or so, there's likely to be even more L.A. connections. Let's not forget Dr. Dre. While I wouldn't claim that the album is the definitive L.A. hip-hop album, it's ability to bring together such diverse parts of the city's musical landscape is a remarkable feat, just one of many that Kendrick Lamar accomplishes on this latest masterpiece."
losangeles  kendricklamar  music  2015  hiphop  oliverwang 
march 2015 by robertogreco
B4-XVI beforesixteen
Highlighting an invisible conversation between hip hop and art before the 16th century. by Cecilia Azcarate
arthistory  hiphop  art  history  ceciliaazcarate  tumblrs  music  humor 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Junot Diaz - Art, Race and Capitalism - YouTube
"Despite what we think, we're more isolated and atomized than ever before. […] The fact is that most poor people are more segregated and isolated than they've ever been. […] There's something really bewildering about the fact that we feel so rhizomatically interconnected to people, but we've never been more isolated. Classes no longer come into contact with each other in any way that's meaningful. I look at my mom and people are like “oh, she's that old generation.” My mom had more interclass contact than the average person has today. Because these great barriers — what we would call the networked society in which we live — hadn't been put into place yet. Think about how much public space my mother inhabited where she was going to encounter people from different cultures and different classes every day. There's almost no public space left at all. And any public space that we have is so patrolled and under so much surveillance and has been schematized and culturalized in certain ways that we're not really coming into contact with anyone who isn't like us. […] You basically encounter people in your network. So that if you are of a certain class, that's who you're encountering in the village. If you come from a certain educational background or from a certain privilege, that's who you're encountering in Williamsburg, these quote-unquote diverse spaces."

[via: http://botpoet.tumblr.com/post/103750710570/you-gotta-remember-and-im-sure-you-do-the

quoting these lines: “You gotta remember, and I’m sure you do, the forces that are arrayed against anyone trying to alter this sort of hammerlock on the human imagination. There are trillions of dollars out there demotivating people from imagining that a better tomorrow is possible. Utopian impulses and utopian horizons have been completely disfigured and everybody now is fluent in dystopia, you know. My young people’s vocabulary… their fluency is in dystopic futures. When young people think about the future, they don’t think about a better tomorrow, they think about horrors and end of the worlds and things or worse. Well, do you really think the lack of utopic imagination doesn’t play into demotivating people from imagining a transformation in the society?”]
junotdíaz  capitalism  race  class  segregation  dystopia  utopia  hope  faith  humans  2013  humanism  writing  literature  immigration  life  living  classism  activism  ows  occupywallstreet  punk  hiphop  compassion  identity  failure  guilt  imperfection  politics  self  work  labor  courage  howtobehuman  forgiveness  future  oppression  privilege  society  change  changemaking  futures  schools  education  business  funding  policy  resistance  subversion  radicalpedagogy  burnout  teaching  howweteach  systemschange  survival  self-care  masculinity  therapy  cultureofcare  neolithic  optimism  inventingthefuture  humanconstructs  civilization  evolution  networkedsociety  transcontextualism  paradigmshifts  transcontextualization 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop | Los Angeles | Artbound | KCET
[See also: http://www.returnofthemecca.com ]

"To most people, when you say "Islam and hip-hop," they will look at you a bit surprised. To most, Islam is viewed as being pre-modern and anti-Western, with a strict, puritanical code that is also anti-pleasure, while to most people, hip-hop is viewed as the exact opposite: it's decadent, rampantly materialistic, hyper-sexual and hedonistic. But if you peel back the layers (or barely scratch beneath the surface), that initial look of surprise will soon turn to awe. Because not only is Islam a part of hip-hop culture, it's central to its very foundation. Harry Allen, hip-hop journalist and Public Enemy's "Media Assassin" has said that "if hip-hop has an official religion it is Islam."

Los Angeles has its own specific histories around Islam and hip-hop -- from the presence of artists such as Kam, Jurassic 5 and Divine Styler, to a May 2001 benefit show at the Watts Labor Community Action Center for Jamil Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), which featured Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, Zion I and others.

But arguably the most significant moment was when Ice Cube, who had just left N.W.A., teamed up with Public Enemy's production unit the Bomb Squad, to record his first solo album, "Amerikkka's Most Wanted" (1990). The combination of Ice Cube with Public Enemy was incendiary -- a volatile mix that combined Cube's militant street poetry with Public Enemy's Black Nationalist fury.

In the exhibit catalog to Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop, Chuck D writes that this was the period following the release of their anthem "Fight the Power" and that "this alliance of Cube and Public Enemy was a show of Black and rap unity that the powers that be feared may ring the alarm and spin the youth away from being lured into stupor and sleep."

And indeed it did. For this was a period in hip-hop when political consciousness raising was central to the music's mission, as ideas about Afrocentricity, Black Nationalism and most notably Islam deeply influenced the culture. And not surprisingly, Malcolm X would become the icon of hip-hop, as his books were read, his voice was sampled, his ideas were referenced, and his influence shaped ideas about Black resilience and resistance. Malcolm's influence would culminate in Spike Lee's 1992 biopic of him, as "X" caps, and Malcolm merchandise became all the rage.

But more than just the popularity of his "By Any Means Necessary" slogan, or the circulation of symbols and the iconography of him, Malcolm's resurgence in urban America beginning in the mid-1980s and into the early 1990's also spoke to the profound disillusionment of Black youth in the post-Civil Rights era. This was hip-hop's "Golden Age," and through the legacy of Malcolm, it was deeply influenced by Islam, as seminal artists as diverse as Rakim, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, Brand Nubian, Poor Righteous Teachers, the Wu-Tang Clan and others carried on a long standing protest tradition in which Islam influenced Black art and culture -- from Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, to its influence on jazz (Art Blakey, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef, etc.) and the Black Arts Movement.

By the time Cube was collaborating with them, Public Enemy had already been vocal supporters of the Nation of Islam, but it was Chuck D's baritone voice, his deeply informed lyricism, and his brilliant songwriting that made Public Enemy the standard bearers when it comes to revolutionary hip-hop, even to this day.

Ice Cube's work with Public Enemy on "Amerikkka's Most Wanted" proved to be a turning point, as Cube would continue to weave the ideas of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam into his albums, infusing his music with political urgency and biting social critique, from his magnum opus "Death Certificate" (1991) to "The Predator" (1992) and "Lethal Injection"(1993). Cube's music proved prophetic in many ways, as a closer listening to his first two solo albums add support to his claim that he in fact rang the alarm about what would become the L.A. Rebellion of 1992 in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict.

By the mid-1990's, at about the time that Cube's career path took a serious turn toward the world of film, hip-hop was increasingly becoming the soundtrack to 21st century capitalism. No longer being compared to the previous generations of Black artistic genius, hip-hop instead was being compared to itself, as the "Golden Age" is constantly being held up as the standard and beacon for hip-hop's own potential in the face of hyper-commodification.

In these demands for hip-hop to get back to its roots, what is often overlooked and understated is not only the extent to which Islam played a vital role in politicizing the music and shaping the politics and culture of early hip-hop, but how it has continued to do that even today through artists such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica, and others. This is partly what "Return of the Mecca" hopes to begin to redress, that through the songs, album covers, photos, flyers and poetry, these histories that too often go unseen are made visible. And that despite the post-9/11 context that has tried to silence these histories and separate Blackness and Islam, these powerful histories are a testament to legacies of struggle that need to be urgently understood and reflected upon."
hiphop  music  history  islam  sohaildaulatzai  2014  publicenemy  harryallen  jurassic5  kam  divinestyler  mosdef  talibkweli  dilatedpeoples  zioni  nwa  icecube  bombsquad  1990s  chuckd  spikelee  malcolmx  atribecalledquest  bigdaddykane  brandnubian  poorrighteousteachers  wu-tangclan  rakim  gangstarr 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Hip-hop Mapuche on the Araucanian Frontera - alter/nativas
"This article analyzes musical activism in Araucanía, a centuries-old frontera (borderland), where physical and symbolic exchange between the Mapuche and other civilizations has long characterized social and cultural life. Discord over natural resources and social organization produces a resonant frequency of political distrust in the region. Mapuche rappers, Jano Weichafe, Danko Marimán, and Fabian Marin, freestyle on this frequency, articulating hip-hop concepts such as “underground” together with local preexisting forms of expression and resistance. Hip-hop also vividly portrays the conditions of life in Araucanía’s interethnic poblaciones (urban neighborhoods). Based on interviews and performances, I describe how groups of inner-city youth, as well as Mapuche organizations, have utilized hip-hop to foment indigenous ceremonies in urban environments, and to involve at-risk kids in constructive activities. Finally, I analyze Jano Weichafe’s fusion rock/cumbia/hip-hop song, “Ñi Pullu Weichafe” (Warrior Spirit), which, as the artist explains, “awakens consciousness” through performed solidarity with Chilean rockers, La Mano Ajena."
mapuche  hiphop  music  chile  toread  jaconrekedal  wekawiñ  janoweichafe  wenumapu  fabianmarin  dankomarimán  araucanía  lamanoajena  activism 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Questlove on How Hip-Hop Failed Black America -- Vulture
"There are three famous quotes that haunt me and guide me though my days. The first is from John Bradford, the 16th-century English reformer. In prison for inciting a mob, Bradford saw a parade of prisoners on their way to being executed and said, “There but for the grace of God go I.” (Actually, he said “There but for the grace of God goes John Bradford,” but the switch to the pronoun makes it work for the rest of us.) The second comes from Albert Einstein, who disparagingly referred to quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance.” And for the third, I go to Ice Cube, the chief lyricist of N.W.A., who delivered this manifesto in “Gangsta Gangsta” back in 1988: “Life ain’t nothing but bitches and money.

Those three ideas may seem distant from one another, but if you set them up and draw lines between them, that’s triangulation. Bradford’s idea, of course, is about providence, about luck and gratitude: You only have your life because you don’t have someone else’s. At the simplest level, I think about that often. I could be where others are, and by extension, they could be where I am. You don’t want to be insensible to that. You don’t want to be an ingrate. (By the by, Bradford’s quote has come to be used to celebrate good fortune — when people say it, they’re comforting themselves with the fact that things could be worse — but in fact, his own good fortune lasted only a few years before he was burned at the stake.)

Einstein was talking about physics, of course, but to me, he’s talking about something closer to home — the way that other people affect you, the way that your life is entangled in theirs whether or not there’s a clear line of connection. Just because something is happening to a street kid in Seattle or a small-time outlaw in Pittsburgh doesn’t mean that it’s not also happening, in some sense, to you. Human civilization is founded on a social contract, but all too often that gets reduced to a kind of charity: Help those who are less fortunate, think of those who are different. But there’s a subtler form of contract, which is the connection between us all.

And then there’s Ice Cube, who seems to be talking about life’s basic appetites — what’s under the lid of the id — but is in fact proposing a world where that social contract is destroyed, where everyone aspires to improve themselves and only themselves, thoughts of others be damned. What kind of world does that create?

Those three ideas, Bradford’s and Einstein’s and Cube’s, define the three sides of a triangle, and I’m standing in it with pieces of each man: Bradford’s rueful contemplation, Einstein’s hair, Ice Cube’s desires. Can the three roads meet without being trivial? This essay, and the ones that follow it, will attempt to find out. I’m going to do things a little differently, with some madness in my method. I may not refer back to these three thinkers and these three thoughts, but they’re always there, hovering, as I think through what a generation of hip-hop has wrought. And I’m not going to handle the argument in a straight line. But don’t wonder too much when it wanders. I’ll get back on track."



"So what if hip-hop, which was once a form of upstart black-folk music, came to dominate the modern world? Isn’t that a good thing? It seems strange for an artist working in the genre to be complaining, and maybe I’m not exactly complaining. Maybe I’m taking a measure of my good fortune. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a little more complicated than that. Maybe domination isn’t quite a victory. Maybe everpresence isn’t quite a virtue."



"Back to John Bradford for a moment: I’m lucky to be here. That goes without saying, but I’ll say it. Still, as the Roots round into our third decade, we shoulder a strange burden, which is that people expect us to be both meaningful and popular. We expect that. But those things don’t necessarily work together, especially in the hip-hop world of today. The winners, the top dogs, make art mostly about their own victories and the victory of their genre, but that triumphalist pose leaves little room for anything else. Meaninglessness takes hold because meaninglessness is addictive. People who want to challenge this theory point to Kendrick Lamar, and the way that his music, at least so far, has some sense of the social contract, some sense of character. But is he just the exception that proves the rule? Time will tell. Time is always telling. Time never stops telling."
questlove  hiphop  music  culture  history  meaning  2014  relevance  race  us  johnbradford  icecube  via:timcarmody  alberteinstein  sullendominant 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Singer Ana Tijoux blends traditional 'altiplano' sounds with rap in the soundtrack of Chile's student protests | Public Radio International
"I'd like to introduce you to altiplano music. Hang on, did I just go all ethnomusicology on you?

[embedded audio]

Well, here's some really cool altiplano music from Chile that I can't stop listening to, from Ana Tijoux:

[embedded video]

Altiplano music is Spanish for "high plains" and it refers to the Andes highlands in South America. You can hear the Andean vibe on that track, Antipatriarca.

Tijoux is a sort of new high plains drifter. She shuttles between rap and altiplano on her new album, Vengo. Before, she had almost always focused on rap.

But while writing songs for Vengo, she began taking guitar lessons with a friend, who brought along a charango, a small version of the lute from the Andes.

"He began playing charango and, I don't know, I became super over-emotional, like 'Wow.' I can't explain. You listen to those instruments, and something that comes from I don't know where begins to touch you in a certain way that you can't even explain. So that's when I understand I need to put charango, quenas, all these organic wood instruments in this album," Tijoux says.

The name of her album is inherently political. Vengo translates to "I come" — and on the title track, she wheels out verses like:

I come to build a dream,
The brightness of life that inhabits the new man,
I come looking for an ideal of a world without class that can rise up.

There's been a lot of rising up in Chile since 2011, primarily student protests. Tijoux's songs have been the soundtrack to a lot of those protests, which she says are far from over.

"I think it will be a year of a lot of movement, from the students, from the high school, not the universities, but the most radical are the high school kids. They are more clear about everything — about the power. Because they're all these people saying beautiful stuff, but they are all friends, they all live togeter in the same neighborhood, they all go to the same schools."

Something tells me her songs about class-struggle will continue to frame that debate in Chile.

[embedded video]"
2014  anatijoux  chile  music  hiphop  marcowerman  altiplano  protest  class 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Eclectic Method - A Brief History of Sampling on Vimeo
"eclecticmethod.net

MP3 DOWNLOAD: soundcloud.com/eclecticmethod/a-brief-history-of-sampling

A video remix journey through the history of sampling taking in some of the most noted breaks and riffs of the decades. A chronological journey from the Beatles’ use of the Mellotron in the 60s to the sample dense hiphop and dance music of the 80s and 90s. Each break is represented by a vibrating vinyl soundwave exploding into various tracks that sampled it, each re-use another chapter in the modern narrative."
music  hiphop  sampling  video 
february 2014 by robertogreco
transmissions_006 // teju cole’s mushtaq mix | THE STATE
"After I made my Capacity Mix for The State’s Transmission series, I realized that there was more I wanted to do with the question. There are any number of possible soundscapes for this cruel and petulant “war.” This new mix considers the experience from an affective point of view. In the midst of suffering, longing persists. The emotional core of the mix for me is the Yemeni song “Mushtaq,” as performed by Bolbol Al-Hejaz and Soni Ahmad in the 60s."

[Direct link to SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-state-2/transmissions-006-teju-cole ]
music  playlists  tejucole  2013  godfreytalbot  alisethi  thenarcicyst  brotherali  bolbolalhajaz  soniahmad  vijayiyer  mikeladd  dam  nitinsawhney  javedbashir  nayyaranour  abidaparveen  hiphop 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Landays: Poetry of Afghan Women
"In Afghan culture, poetry is revered, particularly the high literary forms that derive from Persian or Arabic. But the poem above is a folk couplet — a landay — an oral and often anonymous scrap of song created by and for mostly illiterate people: the more than twenty million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Traditionally, landays are sung aloud, often to the beat of a hand drum, which, along with other kinds of music, was banned by the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, and in some places, still is.

A landay has only a few formal properties. Each has twenty-two syllables: nine in the first line, thirteen in the second. The poem ends with the sound “ma” or “na.” Sometimes they rhyme, but more often not. In Pashto, they lilt internally from word to word in a kind of two-line lullaby that belies the sharpness of their content, which is distinctive not only for its beauty, bawdiness, and wit, but also for the piercing ability to articulate a common truth about war, separation, homeland, grief, or love. Within these five main tropes, the couplets express a collective fury, a lament, an earthy joke, a love of home, a longing for the end of separation, a call to arms, all of which frustrate any facile image of a Pashtun woman as nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa.

From the Aryan caravans that likely brought these poems to Afghanistan thousands of years ago to ongoing U.S. drone strikes, the subjects of landays are remixed like hip-hop, with old words swapped for newer, more relevant ones. A woman’s sleeve in a centuries-old landay becomes her bra strap today. A colonial British officer becomes a contemporary American soldier. A book becomes a gun. Each biting word change has much to teach about the social satire that ripples under the surface of a woman’s life. With the drawdown of American forces in 2014 looming, these are the voices of protest most at risk when the Americans pull out. Although some landays reflect fury at the presence of the U.S. military, many women fear that in the absence of America’s involvement they will return to lives of isolation and oppression, just as under the Taliban.

Landays began among nomads and farmers. They were shared around a fire, sung after a day in the fields or at a wedding. More than three decades of war has diluted a culture, as well as displaced millions of people who can’t return safely to their villages. Conflict has also contributed to globalization. Now people share landays virtually via the internet, Facebook, text messages, and the radio. It’s not only the subject matter that makes them risqué. Landays are mostly sung, and singing is linked to licentiousness in the Afghan consciousness. Women singers are viewed as prostitutes. Women get around this by singing in secret — in front of only close family or, say, a harmless-looking foreign woman. Usually in a village or a family one woman is more skilled at singing landays than others, yet men have no idea who she is. Much of an Afghan woman’s life involves a cloak-and-dagger dance around honor — a gap between who she seems to be and who she is.

These days, for women, poetry programs on the radio are one of the few permissible forms of access to the outside world. Such was the case for Rahila Muska, who learned about a women’s literary group called Mirman Baheer via the radio. The group meets in the capital of Kabul every Saturday afternoon; it also runs a phone hotline for girls from the provinces, like Muska, to call in with their own work or to talk to fellow poets. Muska, which means smile in Pashto, phoned in so frequently and showed such promise that she became the darling of the literary circle. She alluded to family problems that she refused to discuss.

One day in the spring of 2010, Muska phoned her fellow poets from a hospital bed in the southeastern city of Kandahar to say that she’d set herself on fire. She’d burned herself in protest. Her brothers had beaten her badly after discovering her writing poems. Poetry — especially love poetry — is forbidden to many of Afghanistan’s women: it implies dishonor and free will. Both are unsavory for women in traditional Afghan culture. Soon after, Muska died."
afghanistan  beauty  poetry  2013  brevity  culture  drones  war  sisters  gender  hiphop  oppression  poems  projectideas  photography  nomads  landays 
june 2013 by robertogreco
NPR Code Switch | When Our Kids Own America
"It’s much harder now to patrol the ramparts of our cultures, to distinguish between the appreciators and appropriators. Just who gets to play in which cultural sandboxes? Who gets to be the bouncer at the velvet rope?"



"If something is everywhere and everyone trafficks in it, who gets to decide when it’s real or not? What happens when hip-hop stops being black culture and becomes simply youth culture?"



"So once some piece of black American culture slips outside that culture, when does it stop being black and just become this new thing? Where do the borders of one culture end and another begin?"



"When young people inherit the new America, this reconfigured hip-hop will be part of their birthright: the code-switching, style-shifting, and swagger-jacking that’s always been there, mashed up with stories about thrift-shopping, border-crossing and rich South Koreans. Lest anyone get it twisted and think this new America will be some kind of Benetton ad, be forewarned: it’s going to be confusing and it’s going to be messy."



"My generation started writing our chapters on race during the Crack Era — the time of of Rodney King, The Cosby Show, and Menace II Society. But that was 20-something years ago, and we’re still applying the templates that we created in 1992 and 1963 to the chapters that are being scripted now. Those old stories reflect a starkly different demographic reality than the one we now inhabit. It’s not that those stories are wrong, it’s that they’re incomplete. And so we find ourselves having to assimilate into these places we thought we knew and that we thought were ours.

The Afropunk skater in Philly, the Korean b-boy graffiti artist in Los Angeles, the bluegrass-loving Latino hipster in Austin — they’re all inheriting an America in which they’ll have access to even more hyphens in their self-definitions. That’s undoubtedly a good thing. But it’s important that those stories be complete as well. If you’re in Maricopa County, Ariz., and brown, the sheriff’s deputies won’t care whether you’re bumping Little Dragon in your ride when they pull you over. The way each of us experiences culture each day may be increasingly unmoored from genre, from geography, and yes, even from race, but America will not be easily untethered from the anchor of its history. We may be more equal, but mostly in our iPods.

How the country fares in the next century will depend in part on how it deals with these dissonances. It will be determined by whether we grapple with the complications of some basic assumptions about our spaces — who gets to play and work and live in them and how they get to do that.

And so, the “Harlem Shake” kerfuffle isn’t just about some hip-hop dance, but about these anxieties of ownership of the past and future, about generational tensions around acknowledgement, respect and reverence, about the understandable if futile impulse to want culture to retain something like purity, about disparities in power both real and perceived, about land and property, about realness and authenticity and race and history.

For good or ill, the country our kids are creating will work by new, confounding rules.

It’s the rest of us, those of us who’ve been here for awhile and who still find comfort with these old modes of viewing the world, who will start to face the discomfort of assimilating. A Minnesota suburb that looks more like a Brooklyn ‘hood. A “Harlem Shake” that looks nothing like Harlem."
codeswitch  codeswitching  2013  culture  appropriation  us  appreciation  gentrification  diversity  race  ethnicity  harlemshake  genedemby  rafaelcastillo  laurenrock  npr  harlem  nyc  oakland  brooklynpark  minnesota  discrimination  sterotypes  popularculture  hiphop  marginalization  teens  youth  youthculture  ebonics  ceciliacutler  civilrightsmovement  blackpanthers  joshkun  signaling  separateness  hsamyalim  language  communication  english  wealth  power  access  borders  repurposing  shereenmarisolmeraji  chantalgarcia  music  remixing  sampling  dumbfounded  jonathanpark  losangeles  biboying  breakdancing  messiness  stevesaldivar  hansilowang  karengrigsbybates  assimilation  generation  demographics  evolution  change  canon  remixculture  blackpantherparty 
april 2013 by robertogreco
MURK AVENUE, I FOUND ICE CUBES 'GOOD DAY'
"CLUE 1:
     “went to short dogs house,
       they was watching Yo MTV
       RAPS”
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
               Aug 6th 1988
CLUE 2:
Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
               Feb 23 1993
CLUE 3:
      ”The Lakers beat the Super 
       Sonics”
Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics: …"
losangeles  lakers  yomtvraps  nationalgooddayday  1992  goodday  humor  music  hiphop  sleuthing  rap  icecube  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education on Vimeo
"this video illustrates (literally!) the concept of Hip Hop Genius. these ideas are explored more fully in my book, Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (hiphopgenius.org)

the drawings were done by Mike McCarthy, a student at College Unbound (collegeunbound.org), a school that exemplifies many of the values espoused in the film. the entire video was shot in College Unbound's seminar space, where Mike has built a studio for his company Drawn Along (drawnalong.com)."
education  learning  politics  economics  creativity  hiphop  meaning  meaningmaking  dialogue  pedagogy  classideas  conversation  commonality  engagement  culture  love  identity  meaningfulness  ingenuity  instinct  confidence  remixculture  art  music  streetart  graffiti  resourcefulness  genius  sampling  individualization  projectbasedlearning  collegeunbound  change  gamechanging  flux  flow  freshness  emergentcurriculum  contentcreation  schools  unschooling  deschooling  mindset  dialog  pbl  remixing  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
News Desk: Looking for Earl Sweatshirt : The New Yorker
[full article this references is available online (contrary to what is says in the text)
"Where’s Earl?"
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/05/23/wheres-earl ]

"Earl’s real name is Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, and his father is Keorapetse Kgositsile, one of South Africa’s most celebrated poets. Sanneh spoke with Kgositsile, and learned that the father knew of Earl’s success, but had not listened to the music. “When he feels that he’s got something to share with me, he’ll do that,” Kgositsile said. “And until then I will not impose myself on him just because the world talks of him.”

The person most responsible for Earl, however, is of course his mother, whose marriage to Kgositsile fell apart about a decade ago. She asked that The New Yorker not publish her name because she feared that Earl’s fans would harass her, and she is fiercely trying to protect her teen-age son from the exigencies of sudden fame. “There is a person named Thebe who preëxisted Earl,” Earl’s mother told Sanneh. “That person ought to be allowed to explore and grow, and it’s very hard to do that when there’s a whole set of expectations, narratives, and stories that are attached to him.”"
oddfuture  ofwgkta  music  parenting  2011  newyorker  kelefasanneh  hiphop  keorapetsekgositsile  fame  youth  adolescence  identity  earlsweatshirt  thebenerudakgositsile  rap  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Tyler, the Creator: Visionary Rapper or Obnoxious Teenager? -- Vulture
"Tyler, the Creator is ringleader and figurehead of the much-discussed L.A. hip-hop/skater/visual-art crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. Today, XL Records releases his second album, Goblin, the first Odd Future product you can pay money for in a store. Below: eleven thoughts about the album. All reprehensible language and sentiments are Tyler's fault; all overthinking is mine."

[Follow-up: http://agrammar.tumblr.com/post/5398465751/oh-man AND http://agrammar.tumblr.com/post/5426410117/i-read-that-tyler-piece-more-or-less-the-way-you ]
nitsuhabebe  culture  writing  music  criticism  hiphop  oddfuture  ofwgkta  tyler  2011  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
“Electric like Dick Hyman”: 170 Beastie Boys references explained | Music | Inventory | The A.V. Club
"This week, Inventory breaks format a bit to offer a glossary of terms deployed in the Beastie Boys’ lyrics. (Hat tip to beastiemania.com for serving as an invaluable research tool.)"

[via: http://kottke.org/11/05/the-beastie-boys-annotated ]
culture  history  reference  hiphop  beastieboys  glossary  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Das Racist - Wikipedia
"Das Racist is a rap group based in Brooklyn, composed of Queens-born Himanshu Suri and San Francisco-born Victor Vazquez joined by hype man Ashok Kondabolu, known as Dap, for live performances and in music videos.[1] Known for their use of humor, obscure references, and unconventional style, Das Racist has been both dismissed as joke rap and hailed as an urgent new voice in rap."
music  dasracist  hiphop  rap  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
hello typepad: Das Racist on obsoleting the mix tape, touring, John Boehner, and Capitalization
"It doesn't matter how good you think Das Racist is, they're better than that. On every listen, I realize I missed something important. Some great albums get better, and some fade, but Shut up, Dude and Sit Down, Man are both beyond comparison & ceiling at this point."
music  rap  hiphop  dasracist  2010  davidjacobs  tolisten  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Mathematics (song) - Wikipedia
""Mathematics" is a b-side single from Mos Def's solo debut album, Black on Both Sides. It contains lyrics about various social issues and asks the listener to add them up and come to conclusions about them. Many references to numbers are found in this song and at times, Mos Def rhymes statistics in numerical order. The song is produced by DJ Premier whose famous scratch samples make up the song's bridge. Premier has called it one of his favorite beats."
mosdef  math  mathematics  hiphop  music  rap  1999  songs  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Mix-A-Lot's posse route tracked in Google Maps | Crave - CNET
"For most people, Sir-Mix-A-Lot is synonymous with his hit "Baby Got Back." But for his real fans, or fans of early hip-hop in general, the greatest song Mix ever did was "My Posse's On Broadway," an homage to my home neighborhood in Seattle. It's a detailed step-by-step trek with Mix and his posse as they hit up local landmarks like Dick's Burgers and generally have a good time.

It's a great, fun song, and Google Maps user Adam Cohn has done fans a favor by making a map of Seattle that details every stop along the way. This is one of the most fun things I've seen in Google Maps in a long time.

An image of the map is above, but for a more interactive version you can check out Cohn's map for yourself. To make it more fun, below is the video for the single so you can follow along while you follow along. Try not to get the song stuck in your head."
seattle  washingtonstate  hiphop  music  musicvideo  video  geography  googlemaps  narrative  broadway  sir-mix-a-lot  via:javierarbona 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Tor.com / Kid Cudi’s “The Pursuit of Happiness” and the Music of the Future
"Hip hop’s connection to science fiction goes way, way back—to these ears, it’s encoded in the genre’s DNA, thanks to its heavy sampling of P. Funk—but some groups make the connection more explicit than others (OutKast, Kanye West). Kid Cudi’s album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, is the latest addition to this lineage."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/3515 ]
sciencefiction  hiphop  music 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Global Hit: Guru | PRI's The World
"The World’s Emma Kwesiga Lydersen meets up with US hip-hop legend Guru. He’s been touring the world and bringing home some musical souvenirs."
music  hiphop  world  travel  culture 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Democracy in Dakar : Nomadic Wax
"African Underground: Democracy in Dakar is a groundbreaking documentary film about hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal. The film follows rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal and examines hip-hop's role on the political process. Originally shot as a seven part documentary mini-series released via the internet - the documentary bridges the gap between hip-hop activism, video journalism and documentary film and explores the role of youth and musical activism on the political process."
senegal  africa  hiphop  music  politics  documentary  activism  democracy  film 
march 2009 by robertogreco
DJ SPOOKY: Venice Biennale 2007: Ghost World: A Story in Sound
Brian Eno once famously remarked that the problem with computers is that there isn't enough Africa in them. I kind of think that its the opposite: they're bringing the ideals of Africa: after all, computers are about connectivity, shareware, a sense of gl
djspooky  audio  africa  hiphop  free  music  art 
november 2007 by robertogreco
MOISTWORKS : AN MP3 BOOMBOX
"audioblog started by James Morris in April of 2004. A year later it was hijacked by a number of additional writers, many of them divas. We update Monday through Friday, putting up all sorts of music and as much text as the occasion seems to call for. We
audio  mp3  music  blogs  blues  jazz  hiphop  punk  mp3blog  audioblog 
november 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Wot Do You Call It
"An original and insightful documentary looking into the world of MCs and the underground music scene in London."
music  uk  video  documentary  rap  hiphop  dj 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Wu-Tang Clan's RZA Breaks Down His Kung Fu Samples By Film and Song
"RZA gave WIRED the dope on Wu-Tang's cinematic source material and sounded off on a selection of rare movie clips."
music  hiphop  rap  sampling  rza  film  culture  kungfu 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Is Jay-Z signaling a recession? | Chaska Herald
"When I start seeing rap stars flashing euros instead of U.S. dollars, I know our economy is in trouble."
economics  hiphop  music  money  europe  entertainment  us 
november 2007 by robertogreco
3quarksdaily - La Secte Phonetik
"All their music is vocal loops that they build up on stage and then perform over -- it's amazing to watch as well as listen to."
music  video  rap  hiphop  france  french  beatbox  voice  vocals 
june 2007 by robertogreco
WFMU's Beware of the Blog: De La Soul Video Presskit
"Here's a great video presskit for De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising LP, circa 1989. Too bad this phenom didn't catch on with more bands, we might've saved a cool billion on glossy folders and Kinko's fees."
hiphop  rap  video  music  delasoul 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Internet Archive: Details: Can I Get An Amen?
"Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drums beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break."
art  audio  copyright  culture  documentary  film  hiphop  history  music  sampling  breakbeat  technology  video  reference 
march 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Obrigado Dilla
"A tribute to Dilla at the Brasilintime premiere show at SESC Pompeii in Sao Paulo."
video  music  hiphop  rap  brasil  brazil 
march 2007 by robertogreco
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